Igbo World Assembly, IWA, has condemned in the strongest terms the, insinuation by the Igbo Governors and leaders that the sit-at-home orders in the South East of Nigeria were mostly issued by Igbo people living in the Diaspora.
The Chairman of IWA, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze in a statement at the weekend noted without mincing words noted that the Diaspora Igbo group has never called for sit-at-home order, adding that they clearly understand the consequences to our people and the region in general.
The Igbo Governors and Leaders after their meeting held in Enugu to deliberate on the situation in the Southeast zone had alleged that the sit-at-home orders were mostly issued by Igbos in Diaspora.
“Ordinarily, we do not issue any rejoinder after such meetings because we believe that when our elected leaders and stakeholders at home meet, they deliberate on the interest of Ndi Igbo worldwide.
“We were shocked and dismayed by the communique issued after this latest meeting”, Anakwenze said in the statement.
He quoted one of the statements by Igbo Governors as saying that, “The meeting condemned the sit-at-home orders, which are mostly issued by our people in the diaspora who do not feel the pains, the meeting resolved that Governors and all people of the South East do everything within the law to ensure that there is no further sit-at-home in the South East and that people are allowed to freely move about in the Zone.”
According to him, “the statement by the Igbo Governors and Leaders is false, inaccurate and instigates violence against Igbos in Diaspora.
“IWA, the largest Diaspora Igbo organization while aware and understand the rationale for seat-at-home and have never called for one because we clearly understand the consequences to our people and the region in general.
“IWA is dismayed that the southeast Governors did not discuss the root cause of sit at home to address the issue.
“That the people they claim to govern obey orders from an organization begs the question of how in control the southeast Governors are in their respective States.
Anakwenze in the statement was deeply worried that the statement from the Governors and Stakeholders at home was capable of putting the lives of Diasporas who frequent home in jeopardy.
“Diasporas are still shocked and surprised at the unfounded and unguarded statement and may meet to deliberate on the way forward. Meanwhile, we hope that the Governors and Igbo Stakeholders will refrain from making statements capable of destabilizing Alaigbo.
“One thing that is guaranteed to weaken our resolve as Ndiigbo, is to continue to in-fight and backstab ourselves. A house divided cannot stand”, he explained.
Blaming Igbo Diasporas is not only disingenuous but capable of creating unnecessary friction that Ndiigbo could hardly afford at this time, he warned.
According to IWA boss, “ It is difficult to understand the reason for this callous statement, but our Governors and stakeholders should understand that this issue is capable of destroying the fragile economy of the Southeast. “As the global economy reels from the impact of COVID-19 and the decline of oil revenue and its domino effect, many countries are increasingly turning to their Diasporas remittance to help to cushion the negative effect. Many countries have developed or are developing strategies to tap into the Diaspora remittance.
“ For many countries, this has been their main support. The Igbo in Diaspora are in fact the pride of Ndiigbo, breaking barriers and setting new records in their different countries of residence, thereby paving the way for a greater Igbo Nation.
“Of the official $25 billion Diaspora inflow into Nigeria last year, Ndiigbo account for at least 65%.
“This is the mainstay of the Igbo economy in the face of the Federal Government’s neglect of the region.
He said that IWA has always called for investing in the South East to help our youths and develop Igbo land.
He expressed concern, saying that, “What has the southeast Governors done to resolve the various issues in the Southeast, for example, the anti-open grazing law”
Ndigbo, he said were beginning to have some level of synergy between our people at home and those abroad on how to develop Igbo land.
Investing at home mantra, according to him, was beginning to sink in, adding that it was the reason why blaming of Diasporas for the shortcomings of the Governors may have a serious negative effect if not nipped at the bud.
Ndiigbo cannot be talking about Alaigbo Stabilization Fund, SENEC, and other similar organizations and at the same time alienating the Diasporas, he added.